Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fighting Fields of the Reconquest - Terrain part 3

I can't honestly go through a survey of small scale terrain pieces without including the card stock and resin offerings from Hawk Wargames. Any of the 10mm pieces I have looked at so far would be an excellent fit with Hawk's popular Dropzone Commander game, but Hawk has produced a line of their own (mostly) resin terrain pieces to fit the scale as well.

Although very clearly molded in the style of Dropzone Commander, these pieces are perfectly usable in other 10mm scale games, such as CAV or Firestorm Planetfall. Really enterprising 10mm sci-fi gamers might even trot out their old GROPOS models to play along.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Building a Better Tomorrow, Today - Terrain part 2

Last week, I posted my thoughts on the 10mm urban terrain options offered by 4Ground miniatures. This week, I turn my attention to the equivalent product line from Blotz.

Blotz terrain is superficially similar to 4Ground's products: Both are made from laser-cut MDF; Both are made in the UK, and both require you, the consumer, to assemble them. How do they stack up? Read on to find out.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pick your battle(fields) - Terrain part 1

Recently, I have been working with a lot of war games terrain. Part of this is to get some variety in my miniatures work, and part is because I have agreed to run a Dropzone Commander tournament in the spring - and I need to be able to supply three or four tables worth of terrain! As part of that project, I will be sharing some of my experiences with 10mm scale terrain over the next few weeks. This week, we begin with pre-painted, laser-cut terrain by 4Ground Miniatures.

4Ground offers quite a range of terrain styles for 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, and 28mm gaming. They also offer terrain from many genres, but they are not evenly distributed across scales. Happily, their 10mm terrain focuses on a combination of ultra-modern and art-deco urban terrain. I will leave it to your imagination to guess why.

Say, is that a Scourge Grav tank in their promotional image? How did that get there?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dropfleet Commander

I have been posting quite a bit work on Dropzone Commander over the past year, including my review of the game. I have really been enjoying Hawk's approach to tactical, objective-oriented games, and now I am very excited over the impending release of Dropfleet Commander.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Confrontation Part II: It's Not Easy Being Green

As expected, I have been proceeding slowly with this giant diorama WIP. In the past few weeks, I have been mostly painting tabletop miniatures for my Dropzone Commander armies (more on that in a later entry.) Still, I have done a lot of work preparing the dragon Narthrax for paint.

I need to get both the dragon and the knight mostly cleaned and assembled before I can begin construction of the scenic base to support them. I can't really complete their assembly or paint until I get that done. As is usually the case, prep work is key.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ten Milimeter Paint

After posting my recent review of Dropzone Commander, by Hawk Games, I thought it might be a good idea to write up my painting experience with the Shaltari and UCM armies.

The two are an exercise in contrasts. One shows the bold colors of an alien military, unconcerned about hiding their position, while the other is a more traditional military force, emphasizing pragmatism over style.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Confrontation Part I: Storytelling

With convention and tournament season over for 2015, I am starting to think about show-piece painting again. I have a few projects percolating at the back of my mind, but one thing I have never tackled is a diorama.

Dioramas are all about telling a story in miniature, and in a confined space. A good diorama presents exactly what is needed to convey its story to the viewer, and nothing else. For my first try, I am going to attempt a classic showdown of knight versus dragon. The two models are large, dynamic and iconic. It will be up to me to bring the piece together with base design and arrangement.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dropzone Commander Review

Bowing to peer pressure, and the allure of tiny resin goodies, I have slowly been drawn down the rabbit hole that is Dropzone Commander, by Hawk Wargames.

Scourge and UCM forces face off in a skirmish
My slow slide into a new game culminated with the official DzC tournament at Gencon this July. At this point, with a mostly painted army, and seven games under my belt, I feel that it is high time that I collect my thoughts, and write a review.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gencon 2015 Recap

I got to spend last week at Gencon 2015, which was an absolute blast. I got to try out Robotech RPG Tactics on the table. I doubled my games played for Dropzone Commander, and generally got to take in all sorts of cool stuff. I won't try to capture all of it here, but I will try to hit some of the highlights.

 Certainly, the biggest miniatures splash at the con was Halo Fleet Battles, by Spartan Games. This was Spartan's first trip to Gencon, and they only had a small booth to show off their product. Fortunately, the War Store was there to provide some additional table space, and a store front for product sales. If they hadn't been, I Spartan would have been completely overwhelmed. They even had the gigantic Covenant flagship looming over the demo table to keep all the Human players in-line.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Vagaries of Life

There is not a whole lot to report for June: I haven't been able to make much painting or modelling time in the past month, due to the intervention of life:

What you see is the state of my front door, as of the end of May. Fortunately, the repairs are now complete, and I have most of my furniture back in place. I have even installed a new, slightly safer, spray booth in my paint area to give me a place to experiment with air brushing.

My first airbrush project has been to try to inject some additional color into my DropzoneCommander Shaltari army. My basic red scheme looked good enough, with chrome highlights and bright yellowy lift-vanes, but it didn't really pop the way I wanted it to. My newest experiment is to add some brighter yellow-orange patterns to the base design and see how it looks after that.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

CAV Razor: Continued

Home repairs, business travel and illness have conspired against much progress on the CAV project, but much of that is behind me, and I have made some headway as compared to my last installment.

I outlined a Malvernian insignia on the Razor to tie it into the CAV Universe. I'm not sure if the paint scheme is appropriate, but I gather that CAVs change schemes readily and often sport bright colors, so I imagine that it is acceptable.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fey Project 9: The Voyage Home

At long last, the Fey Project is winding to its conclusion. During the weekend before ReaperCon 2015 I managed to get the final shading and finishing done, and pack the miniature up for transport to Dallas. This project was exhausting, but I am pretty happy with the results, and it was fun to experiment with so many new basing techniques. Rest assured that some of these will return in the future.

Naturally, I am never 100% satisfied with my work. There are lots of little details that could be shaded or blended a little better to refine the piece, but I do not think the differences would translate into the photos.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

CAV: Battle Damage

During a recent New England Miniature Painters Association (NEMPA) paint day, I took a short break to play around with one of the Bones CAV models that I received from Reaper Miniatures back in the Fall. The mini was part of the early-bird Kickstarter package from their CAV campaign. If everything goes to plan, the second installment of little plastic robots should appear in a few more months.

When I started this, I wasn't thinking too hard about paint. Instead, I pulled out the CAV and attacked it with my hobby knife, slicing pieces off and then playing around with a variety of materials to add on battle damage that might look cool in the finished product. One thing I'll say for Bones is that it makes this sort of experimentation easy and affordable!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fey Project 8: The Home Stretch

In the past week, I finished my basing work on the Fey project, and I am almost done with the basic shading for the whole figure. Once I add some highlights to the edges of her wings, all I have to do is refine the light and shadow across the model to perfect the finish. (OK, to improve the finish. Nothing will ever be perfect.)

As you can see, I finished up the bracken leaves, and added in a couple of additional mushrooms to break up the yellow-green monotony of the base. Not visible in this picture is the fact that I have now gotten the yellow-orange blending roughed in on the back of her wings, making them more or less complete, even if the blends are not as butter-smooth as I might like.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fey Project 7: Return of the Bracken

I have not had a huge amount of time to paint in March, but I still made some process on the Fey Project. This entry will just be a quick progress check-in, rather than a deep article on technique. Hopefully, the next one will include some finishing touches and a complete, or nearly complete product.

The biggest change is, as you can see, that I glued the figure down to the base. At this stage, I am close to 80% finished with the ground cover basing, and I have also nearly completed the paint on the tree stump and roots that frame the scene. I still have shading and finishing to do on the figure, but it makes the project feel much closer to completion to have the parts put together.

This brass-etch bracken looks nice, and it is far sturdier than any paper equivalent that I might construct, but it is a huge amount of added work. Individually painting each leaf only takes around 1-2 minutes, but there are already more than 40 leaves glued to the base. At a guess, I need another 15-20 to finish up, and move on to other painting.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fey Project 6: Basing Without End

I took a major hiatus from this project at the start of the year. A big part of it was the wings. I just couldn't wrap my head around shading all the little cells on all four surfaces. The base was also a bit vexing, since it involves a lot of repetitive work with the photo-etch brass.

Thankfully, my local group paint day came to the rescue and pulled me out of my project funk. I am now forging ahead with a serious hope of bringing this thing to ReaperCon for display.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Miniatures Without Paint

This past week, I received a bounty of Kickstarter Toys in the mail. Not only did I get my classic-style demons and devils from the Fractured Dimensions Kickstarter, but Reaper's Bones II arrived, and with it, hundreds of plastic toys to play with and play.

The question of which Bones II miniature I will paint first remains a mystery, but the first miniature assembled does not:

I immediately grabbed and opened a pack of clear plastic slimes and oozes to get at the beautifule gelatinous cube within. Anybody who grew up with Dungeons and Dragons will hopefully appreciate my delight in obtaining this carnivorous, dungeon-dwelling, platonic solid.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dindrenzi Evolution

I started this Blog with a long-running project to build my first Firestorm Armada model. It was a Dindrenzi Battleship, which I painted up in a rather dour black-green and red paint scheme. Since then, I have experimented with a variety of variations and alternate designs, none of which have quite satisfied me. I thought I'd share some of my experiments, and the process as the most recent entry into how I experiment with war gaming fleet or army design.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Firestorm Armada Battle Report

Starting in 2015, I am working with Brian, from Magnetized to Lead, to produce a series of battle reports, and other commentary for miniatures games. In honor of the impending release of Spartan Games "Return of the Overseers" box set for Firestorm Armada, we inaugurated this effort with that game*. I now bring you my thoughts on our battle of Aquans vs. Directorate.

Our eventual hope is to record these reports. As a first, tiny step, I have edited together a set of slides to document our game. Once you're done here, head on over to Brian's blog and read his thoughts on the battle to get the most rounded perspective possible.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in Review

Phew! Another year down. It's hard to believe I've been at this for three years, and over 100 posts. 2014 was not my most consistent year for painting and posting, but I did hit my goal of averaging at least two posts per month. With any luck, next year they will be a bit more evenly distributed across the calendar.